May 14, 2020 - Economy & Business

Mnuchin, Powell to testify next week

Photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon/AFP via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell will both testify before the Senate Banking committee next Tuesday as part of oversight of the CARES Act, which requires them to give quarterly updates to Congress on economic programs.

Why it matters: The Treasury and the Fed have been closely linked amid the downturn. Mnuchin at one point was speaking to Powell "30 times a day." This hearing will be the first time since the coronavirus crisis began that the pair will publicly — albeit virtually — appear together.

What to watch: Mnuchin has cautioned against moving too quickly with additional stimulus. Powell said this week that more fiscal action is needed.

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Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.

U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimated 4.8% contraction — according to revised figures released by the government on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the worst quarterly decline since 2008 and shows a huge hit as the economy was just beginning to shut down because of the coronavirus. Economists are bracing for the second quarter's figures to be the worst ever — with some projecting an annualized decline of around 40%.

2 hours ago - Economy & Business